One of the most elusive and sought after coral is the Sun Coral (Tubastrea). This splendid life form is very sought after by reef enthusiasts throughout the world, and is one of the most popular corals within the LPS (Large Polyp Stony Coral) category, which also includes Favites, Dendrophyllia and Goniopora Coral.
In the wild, the Tubastrea Coral is found on reef ledges or steep reef slopes. It is a colonial coral with a rich sunny yellow coloration when open and its central skeleton is round with tubes branching off in all directions.
The Sun Coral has an uncanny resemblance to its popular cousin, the Dendro Coral, but it is important to note that the Sun Coral and the Dendro Coral are totally different species. There are three key differences between the Sun and the Dendro Coral, which are:
1. The Dendro’s tentacle/ polyps are more often than not extended during the day while the Sun Coral’s are not.
2. The Sun Corals polyp size is significant smaller than that of the Dendro Coral.
3. The two different species of corals have very diverse colony growth patterns.
The Sun Coral comes in a variety of colorful shades of orange and yellow, making it a visual delight. This coral does not have any symbiotic algae residing within its tissue therefore it is 100% dependent upon direct target feeding. It is important to feed your Sun Coral 3 to 4 times a week and provide a delicate diet mixture of mysis shrimp (just the liquid from the shrimp) no actual shrimp, fish eggs and sea food morsels. Ideally, one should defrost the mysis shrimp in saltwater and then using a turkey baster gently blow the liquid around the Sun Coral. By providing your Sun Coral a consistent diet, you should see your coral thriving in no time.
The Sun Coral is a stunning daisy-bright beauty, that tenderly swaying its polyps back and forth in a trance like motion, captivating and calming the sense. This makes this coral an ideal LPS coral for the deepest zones of your reef aquarium.